Hola! Just so you know, you're my 300th review! yay! :D
First off, I would like to start by saying this: continue it. There's still moments we only saw through Harry's eyes and I would like to see your take of what Draco would've done/said/though in certain moments. The failed attempts at Dumbledore's life, his desperation, his thoughts about his mother, when Lucius escapes...
However, it is your story and if you think its done then its time to move on to something else. But like you told me in a review for chapter 2 of HPoF "I really hope you decide to come back to this story and extend it at some point."
Anyway, on with the review!
Bella, as always, is crazy! But you managed to capture a different type of crazy than the usual version I get to see on FF. I can't describe it very well, but it almost feels like she's a crazed Sergeant who wants everything done right and will shoot you on the spot if you utter the wrong word or breath the wrong way. And she wont stop even though you're family and support the Dark Lord. What I like about your Bella is that her salvation is based on Draco so I'm not surprised that she even thinks about using the Cruciatus on him.
I really like the whole Narcissa/Bellatrix confrontation. They love each other in a very strange way but the sister rivalry felt like it has always been there. In a way, Bellatrix being the eldest of the Black sisters, it feels like she is the one that needs to carry both her sisters in order to live up to the family name. Until one of them marries a muggle born and sees it as personal treason. Meanwhile, with Narcissa, whom I think was raised to be a devoted (and trophy) wife, does not live up to Bella's expectations and takes it out on Draco. The point where Bella tells Cissy that she thought she "was too pretty to do as" she was told, felt like Bella was always jealous of Narcissa and her charm.
How did you come up with that idea for the spell? It was brilliant! It almost reminds me of Umbridge's quill.
Your names for the Malfoy family were so believable that I just spend a good ten minutes looking at every Malfoy/Black tree I could find to see if any of these were canon. They were strange yet they seem to fit with the pureblood style when it comes to names.
"The boy unites two bloodlines of my oldest and most loyal servants. From the moment he was conceived, he was mine.”--I think, by far, this is the best line that Voldemort could ever deliver. I never saw it that way but its true. Poor Draco! In a way, it goes to show that the title of this story goes a bit further than just the Death Eater's mark.
Did Voldemort just went Darth Vader on poor Narcissa? Haha. I'm sorry, that's how I pictured it my head! I had to relieve the tension from this chapter and my brain did the work for me! This whole scene had me glued to the screen and didn't even flinch to change the music that my itunes was playing. Your Voldemort felt scary and fantastic all at the same time! And poor Draco! He's just a child! Yet we know that Voldemort doesn't care. This whole scene reminded me of the movie Downfall where Hitler is giving medals to some kids in the Hitler Youth and telling them they did a wonderful job of defending their nation. Those kids were afraid of war but still did it because they were proud while Hitler didn't even care if they died.
Anywa, enough rambling! This was a very excellent possible last chapter! Can't wait to see if a) you have another chapter or b) whatever you write next!!
Until next time!
Author's Response: I feel honored! It's not every day somebody reaches this milestone and I'm pleased to have been a part of it!
Another opinion in favor of soldiering on, and you are completely justified in tossing my own advice back at me. There are definitely moments where we never got Draco's point of view, and I agree that it would be interesting to explore his increasing desperation as his attempts to assassinate Dumbledore fail and his time begins to run short. Seeing his side of the duel with Harry would be interesting, as well.
Bella is crazy, but I don't think she's totally disconnected from reality the way that many fan-fic authors portray her. Her reality is the same as everyone else's in most respects, but it's built upon her single-minded devotion to Voldemort and her need for his constant approval. Everything gets filtered through that, which gives her a completely different perspective on things. Torturing her own nephew with dark magic, for instance, makes perfect sense to her because in her mind she's helping Draco to become a better servant to the Dark Lord. The ends completely justify the means.
The Black sisters are a seriously messed up bunch. Andromeda, being plainly the most well-adjusted of the lot, would have eventually left anyway, whether or not she fell in love with a muggle-born. Bella let her obsession with blood purity and dark magic drive her mad. And Cissy, the baby sister, probably spent most of her life caught between those two extremes. I do think she probably found it convenient to be Bella's sister a lot of the time. Who in their right mind is going to mess with Bellatrix Black's little sister? And then Bella went to prison for 14 years, which meant that Cissy could surround herself with her husband's sycophants and more or less forget about her crazy sister. But now Bella's back, and I'm sure it's left Cissy quite torn.
The idea for the Black Family "educational spell" was more or less based on Umbridge's blood quill. Blending that idea together with the awful dark magic that's woven through the Black Family legacy didn't seem like much of a stretch.
You wanna know how I came up with most of the Black family names? I went to a web site that lists all of the stars, planets, moons and constellations. Pick and choose, pick and choose. For the Malfoy ones, I looked at a listing of Roman emperors and other dignitaries.
I doubt the Dark Lord ever considered the possibility that Draco *wouldn't* become a Death Eater because he probably never thought about Draco at all until Lucius goofed things up at the Department of Mysteries. But given his general level of megalomania, I'm sure it was an easy step for him to make.
Voldemort did go all Vader on her. And being the benevolent master that he is, he even managed to turn it into a teachable moment for young Draco. What a good dark lord!
What I might do is simply leave Marked as a WIP, but put it on hiatus for a while. So many plot ideas, so little time to work on them...
Thank you so much for all of your wonderful, thoughtful reviews!